U.S. Century Bank has signed off on its deal to recapitalize with cash from a high-profile group of local investors, allowing the Doral bank to remain independent.
The investment team, led by brothers Jimmy and Kenny Tate of Tate Capital, Sergio Rok of Rok Enterprises and Jorge Perez of Related Group, has expertise in buying distressed assets and promises to fortify U.S. Century to give it a financial foundation for success.
We believe that our group, coupled with the additional investors were bringing in, will prove to be the proper brain trust needed in order to clean up the past and build a beautiful bank in the future, said Jimmy Tate, 49.
The handpicked group is composed of about 10 prominent South Florida business leaders with substantial experience, who will each be making a significant investment, said Tate, who did not yet have their approvals to name them all, but said he hopes to soon.
They are the leading businessmen in South Florida, and they are philanthropic, and they have South Florida at heart, he said. And they are very excited about this endeavor because they believe, as I believe, that there is a strong demand for a well-capitalized community bank that serves the banking needs of the local community.
As part of the deal, the group will pump $50 million in capital into U.S. Century, becoming majority owners. In addition, the group will pay about $90 million to buy certain loans, including all $98 million of U.S. Centurys non-performing loans. The deal will also provide for a negotiated amount of more than $5 million to be paid to the federal government for U.S. Centurys $50.2 million in TARP funds, said U.S. Century President and Chief Executive Carlos J. Dávila.
I certainly think this will be a very positive transaction for all the major stakeholders, meaning the community, the shareholders and our employees, Dávila said.
U.S. Centurys 441 existing shareholders will remain as stockholders, though their percentage of ownership will shrink. Those shareholders will have the option to invest additional capital along with the new group, Dávila said.
The deal is the culmination of years of searching for capital for struggling U.S. Century, whose agreement to be bought by C1 Bank of St. Petersburg was called off by C1 in December.
U.S. Century, a Hispanic-oriented bank that opened in 2002, has been operating under a regulatory consent order since June 2011, which has mandated that it raise capital, among other issues.
The new deal, which is now under a signed letter of intent, should bring the bank close to regulators requirement of an 8 percent capital ratio, Dávila said.
For a bank that is in distress or under a consent order where there is a requirement to raise capital, the terms and conditions of this deal are extremely reasonable and fair for the existing shareholders, he said.
Furthermore, U.S. Century, with $1 billion in assets and 24 branches, now will get a new shot at life as one of the only remaining locally owned community banks of its size. Others, like City National Bank of Florida and BankAtlantic have been sold in recent years to foreign owners or larger U.S. banks.
Tate and his team have been working on the deal since January, after first making an unsolicited offer while the C1 deal was under way.